Getting in Shape
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Nebb

You seem to be the most gym-knowledgable person on this board. At least, you're a constant inspiration to me. :)

My parents are getting me a 5 month gym membership for my birthday, and I've been a member there before. However, I was an aimless member. I want to have purpose and consistency to my gym visits.  They have a cardio room, weight machines, and a few classes.

What would you recommend I do to get the most out of my membership without overdoing it?

Re: Nebb

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    I also just discovered that they have a trainer special going on right now. I just wish I could afford it. It's 5 personal trainer sessions for $200. *sigh*
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    Aww thanks :) Iwouldnt say im the most gym knowledgable though!

    I would suggest you dont do ONE single cardio machine - switch it up regularly and make sure to do intervals. If you do one exersize consistantly your body will become used to it and it stops being as effective.

    Depending on your fitness level I would suggest free weights. Though if you are really just starting out, weight machines are great to start building muscle - do a circuit of a body part (upper or lower), 3 sets of 10-15 reps at the highest weight you can do, you should really have to push yourself to finisht he last 2-3 reps. Once you start building muscle you can start moving into free weights, find out if there is something you can get where a trainer will show you the correct form to make sure you do it safely.

    I think just making good use of all the amenities that are there is your best bet. Have fun and try some new things out!
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    How would you do cardio intervals? They have treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, and stair masters for sure... I'm not sure if they've gotten any new ones.
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    **butting in**

    I thought I'd share two interval programs that I do regularly on the treadmill (can be adapted to bike or elliptical).  I don't do this more than a few times a week - on the other days I do a longer cardio workout.  I like to do these in the morning since they are quick and wake me up!

    4 min warm-up - 3.5 mph
    30 sec - 6.5 mph
    90 sec - 4.0 mph
    30 sec - 7.0 mph
    90 sec - 4.0 mph
    30 sec - 7.5 mph
    30 sec - 4.0 mph
    30 sec 6.5 mph
    90 sec - 4.0 mph
    30 sec - 7.0 mph
    90 sec - 4.0 mph
    30 sec - 7.5 mph
    4 1/2 min cool down - 3.5 mph

    OR

    4 min warm-up - 3.5 mph
    30 sec - 6.0 mph
    30 sec - 6.5 mph
    30 sec - 7.0 mph
    30 sec - 7.5 mph
    4 min - 4.0
    30 sec - 6.0 mph
    30 sec - 6.5 mph
    30 sec - 7.0 mph
    30 sec - 7.5 mph
    4 min - 4.0
    30 sec - 6.0 mph
    30 sec - 6.5 mph
    30 sec - 7.0 mph
    30 sec - 7.5 mph
    4 min cool down - 3.5 mph
    image
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    High intensity intervals - you warm up for say 5 minutes, then run at a high speed for an interval and either walk or job for an interval, repeat. It boosts your heart rate and keeps it high throughout the day. Its just a matter of not going at the same speed or intensity the entire work out.

    Thats how I do it on the treadmill, on the bike I will do a low resistance for a min, then a high resistance for a min, alternating until im at an extremely high resistance and my legs are screaming at me, and then gradually work back down.
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    Thanks! And it's totally fine that you butted in, joesgurl!

    I just want to make sure that my gym visits are purposeful, not aimless. I want to make the most out of them as possible.

    Question, what does a normal week at the gym look like for you? I was thinking of doing M, W, F as cardio and core strength, Tues as upper body & dance class (school), Thurs as lower body & dance, and Saturday as some kind of overall toning/core workout.
    Does that sound like too much? What's your normal schedule at the gym?
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    I generally work out 4-5 times a week. I dont have a set schedule but I normally do 45 minutes of cardio + weights on 3 or 4 of those days, switching up the machines I use (20mins on the rower, 25 on spin bike; 30 mins on treadmill, 15 minutes on the recumbent bike; etc). I try to do weights each time Im there, switching up the body parts im using - arms and back, or arms and shoulders, or chest and shoulders or chest and back, whatever I feel like. Then the next day, I will do an alternate body group. I normally lump lower body and abs together since I still cant do very much in the way of strength training for my legs because of my knee.
    Then one or two days I will just do an hour of straight cardio.

    Your plan sounds good, just be careful working out 6 days a week. Dont over exert yourself. Thats how I injured my knee!
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    Thanks! I will let you know if I have any more questions. :)
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    Good luck with everything. I really enjoy the gym so I hope you do too.
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